Once again: It’s a new year, so it’s time to take a semi-data-driven look back at my 10 favorite songs of the year just ended. (I have previously conducted this empirical/subjective exercise for 2007, 2008, and 2009. )
Here’s the top ten. Number-crunching follows.
|1.||Liquor Pang||Galactic with Josh Cohen and Ryan Scully||28||5|
|2.||Heart of Steel||Galactic with Irma Thomas||20||5|
|3.||Rill Rill||Sleigh Bells||16||5|
|5.||Handed Love||Corin Tucker Band||14||5|
|6.||Blue Gowns||Blue Hawaii||13||5|
|7.||Power Glove||White Mystery||14||4|
|8.||Double Knots||The Living Sisters||13||5|
|9.||Snowden's Jig||Carolina Chocolate Drops||10||5|
|10.||Fuck You||Cee Lo Green||9||5|
As always: I start out by seeing which songs I played most often, per iTunes data. And I cross-match that with my one-out-of-five-stars ratings, and tweak accordingly.
There’s no question that “Liquor Pang” and “Heart of Steel,” in addition to dominating the most-played count, were my top two of 2010. My third-most-played song, “Lever Pulled Down,” by Sam Phillips, got 19 listens, yet my subjective cross-check bumped it out of the top 10. It’s good, but … Well anyway, the only other song I bumped was “Baby Don’t Go,” by Dum Dum Girls. (Also “good, but…”) I made room for “Snowden’s Jig” and “Fuck You” — the latter being the most questionable call. I really loved it the first time I heard it, but despite the lowish play count, I’ve heard it probably too much since via other non-quantified sources, and I have doubts about whether I’ll continue to enjoy it. Maybe if I wait five years.
Anyway the rest of the list pretty much tracks out.
Some random notes:
- Looks like I added about 1,300 songs to my iTunes in 2010, about 350 of which were actually released in 2010. Last year I did a breakdown where I integrated non-current releases with current releases, but this year I don’t have time.
- I do also use Pandora, but not really in a way that results in hearing a lot of current music there. I bring it up because that’s one of a number of examples of ways I might hear music that’s left out of this exercise.
- I came upon “Blue Gowns” by way of Hype Machine, which I’d never really played with until last year. It was probably the only thing I heard via Hype Machine I that I think I would otherwise have missed.
- “Daydream” is something I heard via Popcop.
- The Corin Tucker Band album is great through-and-through. The Galactic album is also full of great stuff, and if you’re writing them off as a lame-o “jam band,” it’s your loss. I have zero interest in “jam band” music, but that’s not what this record is, at all.
- I feel bad that nothing from the Los Lobos record made the top ten; it’s also very good all the way through. Similar feelings about Girl Talk’s new one.
- A very late entry this year that might have made the cut under different circumstances is the most recent Mexican Institute of Sound EP; I only bought it a few weeks ago, but at least two songs (“Territorio” and “Educación”) are clearly five-star-worthy.
- One more in the sort of honorable mention category: “Repetition As Culture Force,” by Sherbe, which I heard via Disquiet. Recommended.
As last year, I thought it would be interesting to use Normalisr to see which artists I spent the most time listening to in 2010. (Normalisr pulls listening data from LastFM.) The results:
|Moritz Von Oswald Trio||38||379|
|The Corin Tucker Band||88||318|
- I’m glad I went through with this phase of the exercise again, as it reinforced my general feeling about the Los Lobos, Girl Talk, and Corin Tucker records noted above.
- No surprise that Elvis C. wins once more.
- I hope Cousin Lymon is happy to see the Kinks put in a stronger showing.
- Speaking of Cousin Lymon, I think he’s the reason for the Moritz von Oswald Trio listening. Thanks for that, C.L.